Heritage, Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 1991 Page: 21
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augment the information and collections
these two men offer in their own programs.
Other special interests which have
been addressed at the Village include Black
History Month, during which a fine exhibit
of photos, artifacts and histories was
mounted by the Arline family of Spurger, a
small community twenty miles southeast
of Woodville. The exhibit caused a good
bit of excitement in and out of the community
as children and grandchildren of
Arline descendants came home to Tyler
County just to see the exhibit.
But nothing could outdo the Village's
incredibly successful Quilt Month. A fascinating
movie on women and how they
wove history into their quilts was shown,
while long-time Tyler residents brought
out their precious heirloom quilts to be
displayed in the Village Exhibit Room.
And on just one Saturday, a Quilt Search
Day brought out more than two hundred
women, carrying boxes of old quilts to be
identified as to pattern, authenticated as
to age, and photographed.
This June another Village first will
celebrate its third anniversary, when
Aloha Freeland once again presents her
original historical outdoor drama "Whispers
in the Wind" with the Village as her
stage. Mrs. Freeland, a former Woodville
School teacher who recently published her
first novel The Sound of a Whistle, based her
outdoor drama on actual events during
Tyler County's early days before and after it
became a state.
But it was a dream come true, when the
old Cherokee Church was moved from the
Dies community northwest of Woodville
and rebuilt at Heritage Village. Originally
the home of a Methodist congregation that
had been formed in 1863, the church
building was purchased by area Baptists in
1936 under whose leadership it remained
When a neighbor pressed the few remaining
Baptist families to purchase the
small piece of land on which the church
stood, Herman Pool and his daughter
Gladyne, J.L. Cruse, and H.L. Riley decided
to give the church to the Village and
donate the proceeds of the sale, as well as a
small amount of money in the church's
treasury, to the Village to help pay for the
It was a decision that took a lot of soul
searching. But final evidence of the acceptance
of the Tyler County Heritage Society
and its preservation efforts at Heritage
was locatedin the
'The church was built
about 100 years ago as
a Methodist church,
a Baptist church.
The historic building
was given to
the Tyler County
dismantled and rebuilt at the
Heritage Village Museum.
Zachariah Cowart Collier did more than offer general merchandise in his store in Town Bluff.
He was postmaster, mortician, banker and friend to those who came floating down the Neches River or
crossed into Tyler County on the Collier Ferry. Evidence of his many services can be found in the Collier
Store, which was rebuilt from some of the original timbers at the Heritage Village Museum.
Village Museum can be read into the
comments of those old-timers who made
the church removal possible. "At first I
didn't much like the idea, but now I'm real
glad. The church is where it belongs."
The church was most certainly where it
belongs this past Christmas season, alive
with carolers who filled its old rafters with
songs of praise during the Village's third
annual Twilight Tour. Time stood still as
Heritage Village Museum stretched out its
arms to the community and took all comers
on a trip into Christmas past.
Dottie Johnson is editor of The East Texas Echo,
a monthly museum newspaper.
HERITAGE * WINTER 1991 21
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 1991, periodical, Winter 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45422/m1/21/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.